chapter  6
23 Pages

Twitter as the People’s Microphone: Emergence of Authorities during Protest Tweeting


The elections in Iran in 2009, and the protests that followed, have been called the “Twitter Revolution.” The phrase is ambiguous: Was the revolution in Iran, or in the way the technology of protest affects public perceptions? In public protests that have followed, microblogging-publicly disseminating short messages on the Internet-has continued to be employed by protesters and by the public observing protests. The use of Twitter during the London G20 protests, the Iranian elections, and other protests made 2009 a turning point for Twitter as a political tool. 1 Whereas there are a wide range of ways in which individuals tweet, 2 a set of protest-oriented tweeting styles emerged out of these events: tweets that called protesters to action, kept them coordinated and informed during protests, and established what was important about the events: what they meant.